Louis Holland of The Blind Pig, Plymouth

Judge: Louis Holland

Plymouth barber extraordinare Louis tends to the whiskers of Mr DCBMC and many others in South West Beard Club. A complete perfectionist, he’s a wizard with the scissors and a generous and entertaining friend.

If you’ve seen our write-ups about Louis from previous years (here and here) you’ll see that he’s not allowed his own words.

Catch him at the barber station, at the bar, and at The Blind Pig on Mon, Tue, Thu and Fri each week.

Some rather different portrait photography!

We’re absolutely delighted to introduce our portrait photographer for this year – the inventive, intriguing and downright marvellous Bottlejack & Hastener.

Mr & Mrs DCBMC have previously been immortalised in this vintage style, complete with exacting instructions – “Put your hand on your wife’s shoulder. No, not like that, that’s far too familiar! Don’t look like you’re enjoying yourselves…”

In their own words…

Bottlejack & Hastener are Engineers of Modern Wonders and Delightful Distractions.

They design, build and present a wide range of vintage interactive experiences at festivals, fairs, nightclubs, burlesque and cabaret events.

At DCBMC 2017 they will be on hand with their exclusive photographic studio to capture your follicly fantastical facial furniture, for all posterity. Photographs will be made available during the event as beautiful sepia-tone vignettes for your online viewing pleasure.

Lord Mayor of Exeter

There’s a VIP opening the show!

We’ve only gone and got the the Lord Mayor of Exeter!

Councillor Lesley Robson will be opening the on-stage proceedings at 1.30pm, and joining one of our judging panels. That’s got to be a first, right?!

She sounds like a very interesting lady. She has a degree in Maths and Physics, and worked for IBM before she had children. The family lived in Greece for 12 years, settling in Devon when they returned to the UK. Councillor Robson has worked with students with dyslexia and other related problems, and has been a City Councillor for 11 years. She has been the council’s Champion for Older People, and is a Trustee of Wonford Community Centre, RAMM museum and Age UK Exeter.

And now she can add ‘beard and moustache competition judge’ to that!

Judge: Paul Ford

Generous of his time and spirit, Paul is a stalwart of DCBMC – 2017 will be his third year with us representing Cornwall Air Ambulance. A little while ago, we asked him for a testimonial – here’s what he said..

I am a volunteer with Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust (CAAT) and ever since the DCBMC has been held CAAT has been one of their chosen charities. I have had the pleasure of attending each one and I can definitely say that the experience has always been a very enjoyable one and I have even had the honour of being on the team of judges.

Clair and her team do an excellent job of organising the event and all the attendees really enjoy themselves. Each year there appears to be more people attending the event with more activities for them to enjoy in fact I really look forward to Clair’s invite hitting my email box!

Aw, thanks *blushes* We’re really glad to have you with us again Paul!

Looking for somewhere to stay?

The nearest hotel to the venue is The White Hart. Mr & Mrs DCBMC will be staying there – so there’s positives and negatives for you!

Don’t worry, there are plenty of other hotels in Exeter city centre. Our map below shows most of them, plus car parking, train stations, and places to eat and drink.

Beard of Destiny

As they went down a storm at DCBMC 2016, we’ve asked Beard of Destiny to return for 2017 and be our House Band!

Comprising Gray Barlow (guitars, vocals) and Ian Campbell (drums, percussion), Beard of Destiny’s music is described by Mrs Oxford Beard Festival (Sooze Higgins) as “a proper mix of styles… most themes are animals, teeth or bubblegum” – we’re not sure whether you’ll be excited or scared, but we promise it will be great fun!

You’ll have a couple of chances to catch this madness/brilliance – they’ll be playing during registration, and between judging and the awards. Listen out for Mrs DCBMC roaring with laughter when Gray introduces the song ‘Larry Grayson Perry’.

Lions Barber Collective

The Lions Barber Collective

DCBMC are proud to support The Lions Barber Collective, an international collection of top barbers who have come together to help to raise awareness of suicide and depression in young men and women.

Formed by Devon barber Tom Chapman after one of his friends committed suicide, the Collective aims to be a helpful point of call for young men and women to talk about depression and subjects that they may find difficult to breach elsewhere. Tom hopes that the friendly and comforting environment of barber shops will allow the Collective to help.

“People tend to tell you their problems and you get to know about their families and their lives” said Tom. “We can work on the trust we already have and let the person know it is ok to talk to us. We can then advise them to go onto the next level [of care].”

“We’re developing BarberTalk, which is bespoke training for barbers on how to recognise, talk, listen, and advise their clients. We’re not trying to make people into councillors; we’re just trying to help people recognise the problem and getting people to open up. A barber shop is a place of trust.”

Collective members donate their time to attend barbering shows and related events, demonstrating their skills and raising awareness about the mission of BarberTalk. They also support the charities PAPYRUS (Prevention of Young Suicide) and Pieta House: Suicide and Self Harm Crisis Centre.

The Lions Barber Collective will once again be represented by Graham Miles of South West Beard Club, and we’re hoping that Tom Chapman will be able to come along too. Do go and see the Lions stand for more information about this fantastic organisation, and buy merchandise to help them with funding for BarberTalk training and supporting their charities.

Charities

We are very pleased to once again be fundraising for the much appreciated and totally vital services of the Devon Air Ambulance and Cornwall Air Ambulance.

These essential services are completely independent of Government funding. It costs around £4.5 million each year to keep the Devon helicopters flying, and the Cornwall service costs around £2.5 million per year to run. If everyone in Devon and Cornwall donated just 1p per day every day, that would pay for the services for the whole of the year. Only 1p a day!

Between them the services assist around 1500 patients per year, reaching the whole of both counties within 15 minutes. Patients are taken to the most suitable medical centre for their needs (not just the closest) – so sometimes that means flying all the way to Bristol Children’s Hospital and even specialists in London.

Without the Devon and Cornwall Air Ambulances, there’s a lot of people who wouldn’t be around or would be in a life-changing situation – including one of Mr & Mrs DCBMC’s friends and one of The Blind Pig’s customers. Only last year, a Handlebar Club member was picked up by Devon Air Ambulance after he had an argument with his motorcycle in the middle of nowhere in Cornwall – yes, the services know no borders!

So buy tickets, come along, buy merchandise, try your luck on the raffle, and dig deep in your pockets for these invaluable local services.

1p a day!

The Team

The Devon & Cornwall Beard & Moustache Championships are proudly brought to you by:

Mike Wellsbury-Nye: (aka Mr DCBMC) who attended the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Brighton in 2007 and was amazed that his wife agreed he could grow a handlebar moustache. Mike competed at the British Beard & Moustache Championships in 2014 and The Wessex Beardsmen’s Beard & Moustache Competitions in 2015 and 2016, and had a blast every time. Got 3rd place in Business Class at DCBMC 2015, but only because Gareth Haywood’s rubbish at rock, paper, scissors.

Clair Wellsbury-Nye: (aka Mrs DCBMC) who attends Beard & Moustache events with Mike, smiles and nods at most of his ‘brilliant’ ideas, and is using her natural capacity for list-making to make this brilliant idea happen.

Plus the help and support of these marvellous people:

The Blind Pig – original idea and sponsorship by Louis Holland, demon barber of Plymouth

Nik & Colin Bathe – invaluable on-the-day assistance with merchandise and raffle sales

Becky Jones & Brendan Johnson – ideas, inspiration, surprises, and all-round fantastic help

Sadie & Pete Moisan – pitching in to help with random things at short notice

Jake Rowlinson – illustrations

South West Beard Club

This list is in no particular order, and is not exhaustive.